Trials open in two major corruption cases

The trial of Trinh Xuan Thanh and Dinh La Thang for alleged wrongdoings at PetroVietnam and one of its subsidiaries, is set to begin today.

Dinh La Thang (Photo:

Dinh La Thang (Photo:

The 22 defendants in the case will be represented by a total of 42 lawyers, including three for Thăng, former Politburo member and former Chairman of the Member Council of the State-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, PetroVietnam.
Five lawyers will defend Thanh, former Chairman and General Director of PetroVietnam’s Construction Joint Stock Corporation PVC.
Twelve of the 22 defendants are accused of deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences. Eight others were charged with misappropriating property.
Thanh and Vu Duc Thuan, former PVC General Director, are charged with both offenses.
According to the indictment by the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, this is an extremely serious case involving people holding key positions in important economic units and major national projects like the Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant.
The agency indicts Thang with main responsibility for breaches in construction of the power plant.
He allegedly instructed PVC to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package, which was illegally signed with the PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) under his order.
Based on the illegitimate contracts, Thang went on to direct PetroVietnam to wrongfully advance over US$6.6 million and over VND1.3 trillion ($57.7 million) for PVC, which was then misused by Thanh.
Thang’s actions is estimated to have caused losses of nearly VND120 billion to the State.
Thanh and Thuan are also alledged to have directed Nguyen Anh Minh, former PVC Deputy General Director and Luong Van Hoa, former Director of PVC’s Vung Ang-Quang Trach Oil and Power Project Management Board, to draw up false documents to withdraw more than VND13 billion from the project for personal use.
Bankers in the dock
Also today, the HCM City People’s Court will open the third trial against Pham Cong Danh, the banker notoriously implicated in the biggest economic probe in Vietnam’s history.
Among the 46 defendants in the case are high-level officials of different banks like the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB), Sacombank and TPBank.
Seventy lawyers have been permitted to attend the trial, in which more than 200 people will be summoned as witnesses.
This will be the third trial against Danh, who is now serving 30 years in jail for wrongdoings at VNCB that incurred losses of more than VND9 trillion, and other breaches at OceanBank.
In the new case against him, Danh is accused of using the VNCB’s money as collateral to take loans totalling more than VND6 trillion from TPBank, Sacombank and BIDV.
The borrowed money, however, was for Danh’s personal use and he did not repay it.


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